CITY OF TRENTON, DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION
Trenton, New Jersey
The William Trent House, the oldest house in Trenton, New Jersey, was built in 1719 for William Trent. He founded the eponymous town, which became the capital of New Jersey. After the passing of William Trent in 1787 a number of Trenton’s most prestigious families including three New Jersey Governors, a physician, and a colonel lived in the home. The house served as a private residence until 1929 when Edward Ansley Stokes deeded the property to the City of Trenton, with the proviso that the house be restored to its original state and preserved either as an art gallery, a branch library or a historical museum. The P.L. Fowler Company began planning for the building’s restoration in 1930, though work did not begin until 1934. The restoration of the house was started under the direction of the Trustees of the Free Public Library, with the guidance of Trenton-based J. Osborne Hunt and Samuel Mountford as architects, and Howard L. Hughes, then City Librarian, as coordinator. With financial support from the Federal Civil Works Administration, later additions to the building were removed and the house was restored to its 18th-century appearance. The house was opened to the public on June 1, 1939.
Photos provided by the 1719 William Trent House Museum and the Trentonian Collection, Trenton Free Public Library